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Coffee Origin: San Salvador, Mejicanos Province, Central America
Coffee Certification: Rain Forest Alliance
This fine aromatic coffee has a soft tropical fruity aroma with melted brown sugar sweetness. It is smooth, creamy and balanced with tastes of dark chocolate, caramel, cashew and subtle high notes of apricot and mango in the background.
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Deep in the hills of the Mejicanos region, the Aguilar family has been producing quality coffee for six generations. Finca Santa Maria, owned and operated by father and son Juan and Ferando, is an ambitious coffee estate and the family continues combining new farming techniques with new technologies to improve their product with each and every crop. The 150 hectare farm consists of a large majority of Red Bourbon with just a sprinkling of Pacamara variety and is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The coffee is grown at elevations ranging from 4,000 feet to 5,500 feet above sea level and is fully washed and sun dried on patios and raised African beds. The Santa Maria estate has been producing coffee since 1890 and continues to grow to this day.
All of our Central American coffees are grade SHG and are of the highest quality specialty coffee available. For a brighter taste experience, try this coffee in our Crisp Light Roast. This exceptional coffee is also Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Salvadorans call coffee el grano de oro, or the "grain of gold". Historically, El Salvador has strongly depended on coffee, and has made its mark throughout El Salvador's history, government, and economic development. Coffee has been El Salvador's leading export crop since the 1880s.
In the 1920s and 1930s, coffee exports totaled 90% of all of El Salvador's exports. The global depression of the 1930s dropped coffee prices to one-third of the previous prices, which in turn cut wages of coffee producers in half and many workers also lost their jobs. El Salvador's coffee industry survived and prospered following the Great Depression, while they advanced their plantation technology, and used sophisticated systems in coffee processing.
El Salvador became the world's fourth largest exporter of coffee in the 1970s. The production of coffee in El Salvador reached a peak in 1980, with export revenue over $615 million. In 1988, coffee accounted for half of El Salvador's GDP, and provided direct employment for 155,000 Salvadorans, and in 2002, coffee only accounted for 3.5% of El Salvador's GDP.
Some farmers, with assistance from USAID, are breaking into a different market of specialty coffee, boosting returns on coffee and its share of GDP. USAID has helped improve the way El Salvador coffee farmers harvest, process, and market their coffee, improving the method of picking ripe cherries, sorting, and how best to dry and mill the coffee beans. In addition to improving their process, USAID helped show farmers how to treat wash water and protect the environment, working with the Rainforest Alliance. Because of this, their coffee can be certified as environmentally-friendly, boosting the market value of their beans, and attracting more buyers.
"Strictly High Grown" refers to coffee that is grown at an altitude higher than 4,500 feet above sea level. What gives a fine quality to the SHG Everest coffee is the precious time it takes for a bean to hit maturity at such high elevations. This length of time creates a hard and dense body often said to be more desirable and found more expensive than coffee grown at lower elevations. Montes Everest is a region rich with volcanic soils and natural potassium. During all stages of the harvesting process here, high quality is guaranteed in the particular selection of planting. Carefully, the harvesters hand-pick a selection of only the biggest and most mature coffee beans, which are later wet milled and sun-dried on brick patios.
Many Central American coffees are grown in select mountainous regions of altitudes between 4,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Depending on the area, typically Latin American coffee-growing regions describe their finest Arabica coffees as being either Strictly High Grown (SHG) or Strictly Hard Bean (SHB). The low temperatures and high altitudes aid in producing a slow maturing fruit as well as a harder, denser bean. A "Strictly Soft Bean" (SSB) is grown at lower elevations of 4,000 feet or less and will mature at the same rate, but have a much less dense body.
Flag description: Three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL; the banner is based on the former blue-white-blue flag of the Federal Republic of Central America; the blue bands symbolize the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, while the white band represents the land between the two bodies of water, as well as peace and prosperity.
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